In an effort to make racing more entertaining for fans (both live and on television), NASCAR has overhauled the way cars will qualify for races in 2014. With the exception of the Daytona 500, NASCAR races have previously used single-car qualifying to set the race-day field, but starting this year, drivers in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series will qualify in large groups in knockout rounds similar to how Formula One, United SportsCar and non-oval IndyCar races operate.

Rather than cars going out one at a time, there will be two new systems – one for tracks longer than 1.25 miles and another for tracks shorter than that distance – that has cars qualifying in packs. For longer tracks, qualifying will be split up into three sessions: the first will be 25 minutes with all vehicles on the track, the fastest from the first round will move on to the 10-minute second round and then the fastest 12 cars from this session will move on to the final round. On shorter tracks, there will be just two qualifying rounds: a 30-minute session with all vehicles and a second 10-minute round for the fastest 12 cars.

If weather prevents all the rounds from taking place, then the field will be set using times of the last completed session, but if no qualifying rounds occur for that race, then the starting positions "will be determined per the NASCAR rule book" using the current points standing. In between each round will be a break (five minutes for longer tracks and 10 minutes for short tracks) where teams will be allowed to perform minor adjustments and aren't permitted to make any changes under the hood.

The Daytona 500 will continue to use its twin 200-mile races as the qualifying sessions, so the first time we'll see this new system on March 2 at Phoenix International Raceway. Let us know in the Comments if you think this will help make NASCAR more fun to watch, and scroll down for a video explaining the new qualifying sessions.


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  • 41 Comments
      Narom
      • 11 Months Ago
      Surely slip streaming will have a massive effect now?
        Pj Taintz
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Narom
        to a degree, They did outlaw the tandem draft though so pack drafting will come into play at bigger tracks like talledega or daytona in the summer, but the tandem is dead
        Bryan
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Narom
        I do wonder how they'll keep teams/teammates from drafting with each other during qualifying.
      mylexicon
      • 11 Months Ago
      Desperate to raise viewership numbers
        ROLO
        • 11 Months Ago
        @mylexicon
        it is a buisness.... it is entertainment they are always trying to do that. What is your point?
      Joe Carter
      • 11 Months Ago
      Because NASCAR doesn't already suck enough.
      Cool Disco Dan
      • 11 Months Ago
      No one will watch this like no one watches the old qualifying.
        Pj Taintz
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Cool Disco Dan
        I disagree. No one watches qualifying now because its boring to watch 1 car do 2 laps at a time With the change up, it now sets up heat like races for the drivers trying to go for their best single lap. If anything qualifying may become more entertaining than the actual race, just like it is in F1 now
      Ben Lee
      • 11 Months Ago
      i didnt know Nascar had qualifying lol sounds pretentious
      VDuB
      • 11 Months Ago
      The only thing entertaining about Nascar is the fans.
        TopGun
        • 11 Months Ago
        @VDuB
        Ya, because (lemme guess) F1 is really exciting right? (Ok…your turn…you're supposed to now say "It's only turning left….duh."
        Ajr Ajr
        • 11 Months Ago
        @VDuB
        Le Mans is the only really interesting one to me. Where else can you see such a variety of Makes, engine types and car designs(diesel, rotary, delta wing, ect) in the same race.
        Ben Lee
        • 11 Months Ago
        @VDuB
        face it, F1 is boring too. The snobs and elitist keep defending it.
      gtv4rudy
      • 11 Months Ago
      I wonder where they got that idea from ?
        • 10 Months Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        [blocked]
      team63mf
      • 10 Months Ago
      NASCAR might as well contact HARBOR FREIGHT and start buying "ALL" the BLUE tarps they have, to COVER "ALL" the EMPTY SEATS in the STANDS !!!!!!!!! -INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Ross M Magargee
      • 11 Months Ago
      next year they will start buy your starting position. the one who pays the most get the pole .
      car czar
      • 11 Months Ago
      Why not a la mans start where the drivers run to the car and jump in and start the race now that would be exciting to see. Some of those big country boys wiggling into their cars putting on all that safety gear. I'll tune in just to watch the start of every race.
      Jamie Houk
      • 11 Months Ago
      Well this should take care of the start and park teams as well as the teams that have more limited budgets. Sounds like lots more carnage to me
        Jamie Houk
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Jamie Houk
        but it will give rookies a lot more time in race conditions.
      William J. Sisco
      • 10 Months Ago
      OK, a detailed comment. I have followed Cart/Indycar, F1 and NASCAR for a very long time. In my opinion, as of late, only Indycar is somewhat exciting and, they can't draw any decent crowds except for the street races (which I love). F1 is absolutely boring now. Talk about no passing in NASCAR, try to watch a F1 race.....so boring its worse then watching paint drying. NASCAR has always been my number 1 motor sport and I have seen it go from absolutely exciting to boring and back to a little more exciting. The new car is better, a little more passing, better action on track and pits. The new format for qualifying is definitely a step in the right direction, why? You always get that one car that can turn a great lap and sometimes it is from a lower tier team or owner which will make the points more interesting in the long run. I may actually watch qualifying, something I never did before because IT was so boring.
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